Mariamma Varkey, founder of Dubai's first private school, passes away at 90

News Network
March 31, 2021

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Dubai, Mar 31: One of the pioneer private sector educators of the UAE, Mariamma Varkey, passed away at her son's Dubai residence on Wednesday morning. She was 90.

The matriarch of the Varkey family, along with her late husband KS Varkey, founded Dubai's first private school, Our Own English High School, in 1968.

She was bed-ridden for several years.

She is survived by her son Sunny Varkey, Chairman of the GEMS group — the world's largest school operator — and daughter Susan Mathews.

The Dubai Mar Thoma Parish has offered "heartfelt condolences" to the bereaved family members. Mariamma Varkey was one of "our senior most members", the parish said.

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News Network
September 19,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 19: Former Union minister and BJP’s Bengaluru North MP D V Sadananda Gowda today filed a complaint with the cybercrime police after a sleaze video purportedly showing him went viral on social media.

Taking to Twitter, the senior BJP leader said that it is not him in the video and added that the video has been created with the intention of maligning his image.

"A morphed (deep fake) video of mine has been making rounds on social media. I would like to inform that, it is not me in the video, its created to malign my impeccable image by my adversaries with vested interest," he said in a tweet.

He said he filed a cyber complaint and added that he has faith in the system and is hopeful that the culprits will be nabbed soon.

"Also, I as per the injunction order of the court, anyone forwarding/uploading the content will be punishable as per the relevant sections of the law. If you know of anyone doing the same, kindly inbox me," he said in another tweet.

A complaint has been filed with the concerned authorities, to arrest and punish the guilty parties immediately, he said.

"Malefactors, who are upset by my rise on the political front, have brought out a fake, lewd video of mine for my fall. The video has become viral on social media, which pains me," he said in a tweet.

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News Network
September 15,2021

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Days after his Taliban-RSS remark sparked a row, screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar said that ‘Hindus are the most tolerant majority in the world’ in Shiv-Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’.

In his earlier statement, Akhtar had said that Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) were similar to the Taliban in their form of extremism.

Clarifying his remarks, Akhtor wrote, “Actually, in the recent interview, I have said ‘Hindus are the most decent and tolerant majority’ in the world. I have repeated this time and again and also emphasised that India can never become like Afghanistan because Indians by nature are not extremists. It is in their DNA to be moderate, to keep to the middle of the road.”

Further, Akhtar went on to explain what according to him was similar between the Taliban and Hindu right-wing. 

“As a matter of fact, there are a lot of similarities. While the Taliban is forming an Islamic government based on religion, the Hindu right-wing wants a Hindu Rashtra. The Taliban wants to curb women’s rights and put them on the margin, the Hindutva right-wing has also made it clear that they don’t like the freedom of women and girls,” he said.

Akhtar was earlier criticised by the Shiv-Sena for his controversial comment. An editorial in Saamna said that even though Akhtar was secular and spoke against fundamentalism in general, he was completely wrong in comparing the RSS with the Taliban.

In his piece, Akhtar praised Uddhav Thackeray and said that even Thackeray's worst critics could not accuse the chief minister of discrimination and injustice -- so it was beyond his understanding why the Thackeray government might be referred to as ‘Talibani’.

“My detractors have said that while I am criticizing the Hindu right-wing I have never stood against fanatics among the Muslim fold. They have accused me of not saying anything about triple talaq, of not speaking on purdah or any other regressive practice within the Muslim community. I am not surprised at the fact that they are totally unaware of my activities over the years,” he also said.

“Over the past two decades, I have been given police protection twice because of the threats to my life from fanatical Muslims: first, because not only had I vociferously opposed triple talaq when the issue was not on the national radar, but I had, along with an organisation named Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD), toured several cities across India like Hyderabad, Allahabad, Kanpur and Aligarh and from a variety of public platforms spoken out against this retrograde practice,” he said.

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News Network
September 19,2021

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Mangaluru, Sept 19: A day after Hindu Mahasabha issued a veiled death threat against Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai over the demolition of a temple in Mysuru, the police have arrested the outfit’s Karnataka unit General Secretary Dharmendra. 

Addressing a press conference in Mangaluru Saturday, a office-bearers of the Hindu Mahasabha accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of backstabbing Hindus, saying even “Mahatma Gandhi was not spared in a bid to protect Hindus”. 

“We didn’t spare Gandhi ji, what do you amount to then? If Gandhi ji could be assassinated to condemn atrocities on Hindus, do you think we won’t consider the same for you? Please remember it will become very difficult for you Basavaraj Bommai, B.S. Yediyurappa and Endowments minister Shashikala Jolle,” Dharmendra said.

Interestingly, soon after the press conference, Hindu Mahasabha state president Lohith Kumar had filed a complaint with the Barke police in the city against Dharmendra for misusing the outfit's name.

The police today confirmed the arrest of Dharmendra. However, the rest of the accused who were present at the press meet are yet to be apprehended.

Dharmendra, who had unsuccessfully contested on a Hindu Mahasabha ticket in 2018 assembly elections from Mangalore South constituency, was announcing a massive protest to be staged by the right wing outfit in Mysuru Wednesday condemning the demolition of the temple, before going on a tirade against the Karnataka government and leaders of the BJP.

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